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Florida Offers Pipeline Clue in Mystery of Giant Methane Leak


(Bloomberg) The mystery over the origin of a giant cloud of methane that hung over Florida in early May may have been solved.

The state’s Department of Environmental Protection said Friday that methane was “vented” during the intentional emergency shutdown of a natural gas compression facility on May 2.

The details dovetail with a methane cloud tracked by Bluefield Technologies Inc., which analyzed satellite data. That emission emanated from north of Gainesville between May 2 and 3. It was estimated to be 12 miles wide and total 300 metric tons. Invisible to the naked eye, methane is a more powerful climate-change agent than carbon dioxide since it can trap much more heat in the atmosphere in the first two decades.

Florida Methane Release

The facility cited by the Department of Environmental Protection is in Bradford County and is part of the Florida Gas Transmission Pipeline, a joint venture between Energy Transfer LP and Kinder Morgan Inc. Kinder Morgan referred questions to the other company, which, it said, operates the pipeline system. Energy Transfer didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.



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